Air Deccan ordered to pay Rs 1 lakh for cancelling flight

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New Delhi, Oct 30 (UNI) The low-cost airlines Air Deccan (now Kingfisher) has been asked to pay a compensation of Rs one lakh for cancelling a Pune-Delhi flight at the last minute in January 2007.

Hearing the petition by Anil Bhandoola, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission headed by Justice Rummita Mittal ordered last week,"in our view, higher compensation of Rs 1 lakh including cost of litigation for all the passengers including the children shall meet the ends of justice." "By no stretch of imagination, a passenger can be left stranded high and dry at the airport after reaching there without being informed of the cancellation of the flight," the order said.

"The harassment and inconvenience suffered by passengers in such a situation can be well imagined when neither an alternative flight is provided for nor are the queries for other arrangements for meals, transport or over night accommodation are made," the Commission added.

On January 2, 2007 when Anil Bhandoola had booked four tickets from Pune to Delhi, the flight was scheduled to leave at 2.30 pm but the airlines flashed a message on his mobile about cancellation of the flight when he had already left for the airport with his wife and children.

Left stranded at the airport, he tried to get on to a flight of another airline but in vain. He had to travel to Mumbai by taxi to catch the first available flight to Delhi. Besides he had to stay in Mumbai for two days till January 4 when he was able to book a seat on a Spicejet flight.

Counsel for Air Deccan pleaded that the flight was cancelled because of bad weather. However, the Commission remained unconvinced. ''Even though the flight was cancelled on account of bad weather at Delhi, the non-provision of any alternate arrangements, which even as per its own terms and conditions it is bound to provide, itself amounts to gross deficiency in service for which the service provider is bound to pay due compensation.'' UNI SSS LS RP HT1912

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